Two Agencies Agree with Change in Boy Scout Ban
A UMNS Report
By Heather Hahn*
Leaders of two United Methodist agencies — United Methodist Men and United Methodist Board of Church and Society — welcomed news that the Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its decades-long ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.
The proposed change would remove a national membership requirement dealing with sexual orientation and allow local charter organizations to decide. NBC News reports that the Boy Scouts of...
General Orientation Meeting for UMVIM Teams to Japan Is This Saturday
The United Methodist Church response to the massive earthquake disaster in Japan soon will include volunteer recovery teams. A general orientation meeting for people who may want to go to Japan will take place at Sacramento's Japanese United Methodist Church this Saturday (April 9) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The meeting program will include a general introduction to the culture and language of Japan. Participants will be introduced to the UMC response plan for Japan recovery and plans...
A New Year's Opportunity
If you're invited to a party and accept the invitation, chances are you don't stand in the corner when you arrive. You know that you are a part of that social group, so you talk and listen to people.
In the same way, you've committed yourself to your relationship and it's the same deal – participation was voluntary but you've already volunteered to participate. You say hello and greet your partner and hug and say goodbye when you leave. You talk and...
Making Time for 'Us'
By Bea Strickland, Marriage Enrichment
and Glenn Tilton, Abide in Love
As the holidays approach, we will all find that it's "sooo" easy to let time slide by and not spend focused time with our partner. Other things can seem so urgent.
Meanwhile, our relationship quietly craves connection. We need to be involved in each other's lives and feel close. We want to keep our life together strong and vibrant. We need to let go of our bad habits of TV watching or too much...
Happy (Relationships) Holidays
In a happy relationship, keeping the good memories alive keeps the joy multiplying. So often we go over and over the hurtful moments and the negative issues in an attempt to watch out for danger and solve problems – i.e., survive. That imprints those memories in our minds.
It isn't as natural to review the happy times, but we need to recognize that memories fade without frequent review. As couples we want our relationship to be happy, and discussion of the good...
United Methodist Marriage and Engaged Encounter Says 'Thank You'
By Jerry and Sue Angove and
Glenn and Gwen Tilton
After 31 years, we are closing our program. Thank you to the hundreds of couples who attended a United Methodist Marriage or Engaged Encounter Weekend here in California. We loved the buzz that happened on every weekend when couples came in Friday night hesitant and distant, and by Saturday night were in love again and really working on their relationship.
Thank you to the dozens of fantastic couples who gave long hours for years to...
Marriage Enrichment Seminar This Saturday Has a Few Spots Open
Event to focus on 'Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Enhancement'
Emotional Intelligence describes the ability and skill to identify and manage emotion in interpersonal interactions. Defensiveness, resentment, and anger keep people from enjoying closeness and intimacy.
At a marriage enrichment seminar in San Jose this Saturday, April 17, 7-9:30 p.m., licensed marriage and family therapists Laura and Ron Steck will lead attendees in recognizing relationship patterns they'd...
Website Designed to Help Marriages Stay Strong
A UMNS Feature
By Kathy L. Gilbert*
Marriage starts looking dismal if you are gazing through lenses focused on the rich and famous. Think David Letterman or South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
The roving eyes of the Tiger (Woods, that is) make him just the latest celebrity to fall from grace.
But if you step back and look at marriage through the lenses of faith, it can be a blessing, says one United Methodist pastor who has spent years developing an online marriage...
'Love Train' Puts Relationships on Right Track in 2010
Christmas shopping done! The perfect gift for your significant other is just a few clicks away - for what could be better than making a commitment to put your relationship on the right track in 2010? It's as simple as signing up for "All Aboard the Love Train," the 35th Annual Marriage Enrichment Retreat, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME).
January 15-17, from 6 p.m. Friday to noon on Sunday, gather with other...
Churches: Observe Fortieth Anniversary of 'No Fault Divorce' With Marriage Education
By Glenn Tilton
ABIDE in LOVE
A change that has wreaked havoc on American families took place just 40 years ago. Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan signed the "No Fault Divorce" bill in 1969, when he apparently was still smarting from his 1948 divorce, which actress Jane Wyman obtained on grounds of "mental cruelty." Mr. Reagan later said that signing the no-fault law was "one of the worst mistakes" he ever made in office.
His son, Michael...
Three-Minute 'I Love You's Make a Difference!
By Glenn Tilton
ABIDE in LOVE
Affection, affirmation, and all the caring ways we pay attention to our partner sustain a loving relationship. We either learned caring behaviors - or didn't. Many of us never saw our parents being affectionate or received affection. But we can learn, now.
These are the kinds of lessons people can learn in a marriage/relationship education class such as Couplehood, Mastering the Mysteries of Love, and 10 Great Dates. The...
Abide in Love Winner Announced
ABIDE in LOVE, Healthy Marriage for United Methodists, has drawn the name of the Rev. Frances Leibert, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Dinuba, California as the winner of the $50 prize in the business card drawing at this year's Annual Conference Session. She and many others visited Abide in Love's display table and left a business card to connect with the organization.
ABIDE IN LOVE, Healthy Marriage/Relationships for United Methodists, is a ministry to encourage...
Teasing: It's Not Funny, But a Hostile Message in Relationships
Watch out for teasing! It can hurt your relationship.
If you say something insulting in a funny way, it still hurts. While all of us may laugh, it stings the recipient.
All the sitcoms use funny putdowns, but in real life people get hurt or angry, and may retaliate. In that case the person who felt insulted makes his or her own remark a little worse than the original one, and then it all escalates. Teasing is a wolf in sheep's clothing!
Listen to Show Understanding, Then Be Understood!
The ABIDE in LOVE message for the week is that most people who practice Showing Understanding (active listening, reflective listening) find that problems are solved faster, misunderstandings are eliminated, and the speaker gains relief and is grateful to the listener.
There are some who are wary of attempting to listen in that manner - maybe through fear of doing it wrong, being laughed at, or sounding condescending,
No skill is ever easy at the beginning; there are always...
What to do When You're Both Mad
Building Better Marriages - From ABIDE in LOVE, Healthy Marriage for United Methodists
As a couple, it's wonderful to be good friends and companions. But relationships are seldom easy. Sometimes you are sick, tired, or hungry and then little comments get magnified until they feel like terrible insults. We let two or three pinches go by without commenting, but the third one feels like too much.
Forgiveness may be the key to solving many of our problems. Othe...
Annual Clergy Spouse Retreat, April 24-26
The deadline is near to sign up for the Annual Clergy Spouse Retreat, April 24-26 at the Mercy Retreat Center in Auburn, California.
The retreat, titled "Look on the Sonny Side," will be led by Debi Flory and her band of "merrymakers," who will guide attendees in a joy-filled, spiritual, contemplative, and reflective weekend.
Registration is due by April 5 (this Sunday).
Mail a check or money order for $195, payable to "Clergy Spouse Association," to Cathy...
New Program for Couples Recommended to Churches
Churches with a marriage education ministry - or wanting to launch one - have a new tool at their disposal.
Couplehood: The Imago Path to Real Love, is a six-session series by husband and wife team, Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. "ABIDE in LOVE; Healthy Marriage for United Methodists" recommends the program and will be glad to help pastors or lay leaders begin the class at their church.
Harville Hendrix, Ph. D. is a clinical pastoral counselor who is known...
Abide in Love Offers Help to Churches for National Marriage Week
ABIDE in LOVE asks churches to recognize National Valentine's/Marriage Week, from February 8 through 15.
The United Methodist Healthy Marriage project encourages all pastors and lay leaders to celebrate committed relationships and marriage and to recognize their importance to our children, families, community, and society. We are asked to emphasize the role of love in the church and family life.
- Develop a Valentine's Week banquet, reception, or...
What Children Want Most Is a Ban on Divorce
By Glenn and Gwen Tilton
ABIDE in LOVE, Healthy Marriage for United Methodists
Many of us have been thinking about holiday gifts for children. What do they really want? According to an article by Alastair Jamieson, in the UK Telegraph, December 14, "Marital splits were also named the second-worst thing in the world in the survey of under-10s, behind being fat."
Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world:
Have a Holly, Jolly, Debt-Free Christmas
By Glenn Tilton
ABIDE in LOVE (Healthy Marriage for United Methodists)
"'Festive, but frugal' is the mantra for Holiday 2008," says Claudia Buck, Personal Finance columnist for the Sacramento Bee.
Home for Christmas
The most important gift of the holidays is home and family - marriage and other loving relationships. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring back memories and longings for home and familiar faces and places. Jesus taught us to value the Spiritual gifts rather than...